"Rodrick Williams Jr.'s 10-month old, 2-foot-long savannah monitor named "Kill" gets the RB some strange looks when they go for walks together."
Tim will spin out posts on his experience at Media Day over the first few days of the week, but right now how about a million embeds? Oh and this from the MVictors photo gallery:
"Please stop doing that, you're making me uncomfortable."
And then there's all the video Boyz n tha Pahokee and MGoVideo put in a non-browser-crippling format:
Denard Robinson (wsgs Mike Rosenberg and Mike Rosenberg's Tiny Afro!):
Several more after the jump.
As a reminder, recruiting updates are saved for posterity on the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board.
About To Drop?
FL OL Tony Posada may be getting close to a Florida offer ($, info in header). He just needs to lose 10 pounds and the Gators have promised he'll receive one. [Ed: Or that could be a slow-play and Florida isn't going to offer.] Florida was his childhood favorite, so that could dampen his Michigan lean. Posada and MI OL Jake Fisher (pictured at right) are both deciding soon.
If one or both of them pick(s) Michigan, that would be a fine start to Michigan's offensive line haul in the class. The Wolverines are the favorite for both, but Fisher plans to check out Michigan State once more before making a decision, and Posada is searching for that Florida offer.
Much, much more on their ability to play football if they commit.
Tops In State
Scout has released its Top 80 List for the state of Michigan. The Top 10, and other recruits of interest (or who might be at some point):
- 1 LB Lawrence Thomas (MSU Commit)
- 2 WR DeAnthony Arnett
- 3 DE Brennen Beter (Michigan Commit)
- 4 OL/DE Anthony Zettel
- 5 RB Justice Hayes
- 6 OL Jake Fisher
- 7 CB Valdez Showers
- 8 RB Onaje Miller (MSU Commit)
- 9 LB Ed Davis
- 10 CB Delonte Hollowell (Michigan Commit)
- 11 WR Shawn Conway (Michigan Commit)
- 13 RB Thomas Rawls
- 16 LB Taiwan Jones (Michigan State Commit)
- 21 DE Damon Knox
- 22 TE Ben McCord
- 35 TE Nate Dreslinski
- 46 FB Joey Kerridge
- 59 RB DaShawn Bell
- 66 LB Dwight Trammer
- 73 OL Bryan Bell
- 74 OL Willie Beavers
Right now, it appears as though Michigan State has the slight edge in-state, but the Wolverines have a good chance to close out strong.
In the same vein, Sam Webb's weekly Detroit News column runs down a few of the top guys in the state who are uncommitted. The main prospects of interest in that story are OL Jake Fisher and LB Ed Davis, but it sounds like RB Thomas Rawls could pick up a Michigan offer somewhere down the line.
Scott Burnstein of the Oakland Press runs down a couple in-state sleepers who impressed at Michigan's summer camp.
Assume The Position: Tight End
The times, they have changed since I last broke down tight end recruiting. With the number of offers Michigan's coaching staff has out at the position, I think it's pretty clear that they want one in this class (though they could be offering some guys with the intention of moving them to the defensive side of the ball).
The biggest recent news is OH TE Ray Hamilton's commitment to Iowa. Michigan had appeared to be very strong in his recruitment until he joined the Hawkeyes' class of 2011. Though his commitment seems firm, his dad's connection to Rich Rodriguez could help Michigan stay in the picture with a good season.
SC TE Jerrell Adams seems to have a Michigan offer, and the Wolverines are definitely in the picture ($, info in header). He's definitely a possibility for the spot.
NJ TE Taques Franklin has legit Michigan interest, and plans to take an official visit. However, a little birdie tells me that he has some work to do in the classroom to ensure that he will qualify to play at the next level.
NJ TE/QB Tanner McEvoy (maybe intent on being a QB?), NC TE Drew Owens, FL TE Brandon Fulse, and OH TE Austin Traylor and are guys that Michigan tossed an offer to, and haven't seemed to talk about the Wolverines too much since. I'll assume they're pseudo-longshots.
Happy trails, NY QB Ashton Broyld. Though he's visited Michigan, he's not hearing from the Wolverines.
Happy trails, NJ RB Savon Huggins, who released a Top/Final 10 list without Michigan.
Happy trails to FL LB Kent Turene. For whatever reason, the staff never offered Turene, even as it became clear that Demar Dorsey's former teammate was going to wind up as a big time prospect. With adequate time to evaluate him (and obvious hints that he was interested in Michigan), I'll trust their opinion in not offering him. He's now committed to USC.
NC QB Marquise Williams is still planning to decide soon ($, info in header). Michigan was already slipping, and the commitment of FL QB Kevin Sousa is another indication that he won't put on the maize and blue cap.
As The Demetrius Turns... FL RB Demetrius Hart still has Michigan and Auburn on top. Those two and Alabama are still the main contenders for his services. He's considering multiple Michigan visits this fall, and there's no reason to believe the Wolverines have slipped.
OH WR AJ Jordan plans to trim his list soon ($, info in header). Jordan is probably the hottest prospect on Michigan's board at wide receiver, as most expect him to end up donning the winged helmet. AJ should commit before the season starts, and could join his former teammates (Roy Roundtree et al) in Ann Arbor.
MI WR Willie Snead hasn't been hearing much from Michigan, but is getting attention from... Florida? I wonder if things will pick up with the local schools. If not, he'll slip right of the ol' recruiting board.
Though some Michigan fans have been expecting an early decision from MI OL Anthony Zettel, he tells ESPN that's not going to happen. He's considering a couple official visits, mainly to check out Penn State and Iowa (and maybe UCLA), schools on his favorites list that he hasn't had a chance to see. The Wolverines and Spartans still have a healthy lead on the rest of the field. Zettel seems like one of the many prospects that Michigan should land as long as they start the season strong.
Shoutout to MGoUser JC3 who brought this to my attention: IL OL Chris Bryant recently received a Big Ten offer ($, info in header), and Tom confirmed via Twitter that it was from the Wolverines . He'd been openly campaigning for such an offer, so does that mean he might join Michigan's class? He won't decide for a while, but the Wolverines are probably near the top of his list.
Though this local fluff on VA LB Curtis Grant (pictured at right) doesn't mention Michigan, it does say he's planning to take his time making a decision - and he has interest across the country.
In came Grant, a freshman who had played sparingly up to that point in the season for Richmond-based Hermitage. On the conversion attempt, Highland Springs' quarterback rolled to his right and stopped before attempting to catch Hermitage's defense by surprise with a pass back across the field. Grant batted the pass down to negate the threat.
"I was like 'Wow, the first play we send him in and he makes an impact play'" Kane said. "From then on, he was not afraid of competition. He just went out there and played. That was pretty special for a kid of that age — a ninth-grader coming into a playoff game to replace a senior."
Yay fun anecdote. VolNation doesn't mention a Michigan visit, but I think he's planning to take one in August.
PA CB Kyshoen Jarrett has released a top/final 9, with Michigan, Illinois, MSU, UConn, Penn State, Pitt, Stanford, Virginia, and Wisconsin. He plans to trim again in about a month, and take a few official visits before coming to a decision.
TomVH's weekly update has all the latest news on AZ OL Cyrus Hobbi, FL OL Tony Posada, GA S Avery Walls, and a couple more prospects. Check it out for the news. Speaking of Walls, he comes in for some local fluff. He genuinely enjoyed his Ann Arbor visit, and the coaches will be all over this top safety.
Rich Rodriguez addressed the media for 20 minutes or so after yesterday's spring game, then a number of players spoke to small groups. Notes:
- Won't answer questions about a resolution to the quarterback situation, and they won't be available to the media. Pleased that the QBs have gotten better. It's nice to have competition, and not have one guy seize the job this early. Denard and Tate have both improved, but they still have more work to do. Devin has learned well, considering he's only been around for 15 practices. The #1 guy may not emerge until after the first game.
- The quarterbacks had a poor day compared to how they've been practicing the rest of the spring. It's OK for the QBs to scramble around, but the coaches don't want them to do that until the initial play breaks down. Still, their offensive creativity and explosion shouldn't be hampered.
- Having a QB competition will continue to elevate those guys. If multiple guys are ready to play in the fall, they'll play. The goal is for the whole team to get better, so the improvement by the quarterbacks is important to that. Denard got the first rep of the game because he's been more consistent over the course of the spring.
- Denard Robinson's grasp of the offense, and recognition of defenses has improved markedly since last year. Understanding the offense is important, but both Denard and Tate Forcier need to get better at reading the defense, now that they are able to execute the offensive plays. Denard's always been able to throw, it's just a matter of making sure his mechanics and reads are consistent. He's still learning the offense, because he's still just a first-year guy. Pat White redshirted his first season, and in that first spring, he was probably about at the same point in his development that Denard is now. He continued progressing, and hopefully all of Michigan's quarterbacks can do that as well. Pat and Denard are similar players, but it's unfair to compare them, because Pat was so good for a while, you can't expect that out of a young guy.
- Today was the first day of the spring that the quarterbacks weren't live. That changes the way they play a bit, and the defense might let up on them a little bit more.
- One of the emphases this spring was limiting turnovers and negative-yardage plays. The spring game was somewhat disappointing in that regard.
- Running backs: There will be more competition in August when everyone is healthy. More than one running back will play in the fall. Mike Shaw and Mike Cox, Stephen Hopkins, and Fitzgerald Toussaint will all be in the mix. Spring has given some new guys a chance to emerge.
- Jeremy Gallon's redshirt year helped him get into good shape. Right now, he's the leader at punt return and kick return, and he'll play in the slot as well as maybe some other places.
- They have more guys who are ready to play at the offensive skills positions. Some of the QBs have a bit of experience, which raises expectations.
- Taylor Lewan and Michael Schofield have played pretty well. With Perry Dorrestein injured, they've have opportunities to progress. There are now two additional guys who can get in the rotation, and the coaches want to have more guys ready to play.
- The team wasn't as physical and good at tackling today as they were in other practices, maybe because they couldn't hit the QBs. The scheme was simple today, but fundamentals need to continue improving.
- Troy Woolfolk broke his finger on Thursday, but he'll be fine by fall camp.
- Mike Martin will play noseguard when he returns healthy, but he'll also play other spots on the defensive line. Adam Patterson and Will Campbell will also play "both nose and tackle."
- The kicking game was very uneven today. The situation is still wide open. Brendan Gibbons kicked well today, but Will Hagerup will have the opportunity to win the punting job in the fall. Tate had a good punt, and he's pretty good at it. The other guys practice it a lot more, because Tate has other things to worry about.
- The coaches got some answers this spring, mostly positive. They'd like to have more answers than they got, but most of what they see right now is positive. No negative surprises. Cam Gordon and Mark Moundros were positive surprises after position changes, as was the level of play at cornerback.
- The early enrollees provided some good moments as well. Jerald Robinson and Stephen Hopkins are probably going to get some playing time in the fall. The early enrollees were a little nervous playing in the Big House. It's nice to get those nerves out of the way early. Some of Devin's mistakes may have been due to nerves.
- Team chemistry is really good, and still improving. Players get closer together each day they work.
- The coaches have a week to look back on spring, then they'll hit the road for the Evaluation Period in the recruiting cycle.
- Hopefully in the future, the spring game will continue to grow. The weather wasn't great, but fans still came out. Maybe weather will be better and more fans will come out. Players appreciate the support from the crowd.
- The team has three spring scrimmages, and the Spring Game might not be the most useful for teaching, it does give players the chance to get in front of a crowd, and to adjust what they're doing without the coaches telling them exactly what to do after each play.
Notes from the players after the jump.
Personnel notes: nothing unusual. Dorrestein was the RT, Omameh the RG. Roundtree played as the slot the whole game.
Video note: some of the cut points are a little odd this week; I was using a different file and was having some issues actually getting it cut.
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||RB||TE||WR||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|M40||1||10||Shotgun 2-back||2||0||3||Nickel||Run||Zone read veer (inverted)||Robinson||0|
|Robinson the tailback here. Schofield gets out on this lightning fast but the linebackers aren't reading the line and are also flowing down at the play so a Forcier keep is no good either. With Schofield standing up outside the tackle here I think this is a play Forcier needs to check out of. Just a freshman. Excellent play by Schofield, too.|
|M40||2||10||Shotgun trips||1||1||3||Nickel||Pass||Bubble screen||Roundtree||2|
|This is open and looks like it will go for good yardage but Forcier throws it high and hard, necessitating a tough catch from Roundtree. Roundtree brings it in but the tough catch has put him off balance and he stumbles to the ground untouched. (MA, 2, screen)|
|M42||3||8||Shotgun trips||1||1||3||Nickel||Run||QB draw||Forcier||-3|
|I don't know if this is miscommunication or a bust or just a poor block from Brown. Omameh passes the playside DT off to Brown to go get a downfield block and though Brown bumps him it's as if he wasn't expecting this; if this was planned it's a cut block, you have to think... so the tentative verdict is Omameh busted. Virtually unblocked DT tackles.|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 13 min 1st Q.|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||RB||TE||WR||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|M26||1||10||Shotgun 3-wide||1||1||3||Base 4-3||Pass||Hitch||Mathews||6|
|Wisconsin sitting on this and the DB is there to try and make a play on the ball or rake it out; he can't quite make it but does tackle. Wisconsin making it tough so far. (CA, 2, protection 1/1)|
|M32||2||4||Shotgun 3-wide||1||1||3||Base 4-3||Run||Zone read stretch||Minor||0|
|Dorrestein(-1) discarded by the DE and he closes a tiny hole down that wasn't big because a couple of Wisconsin DTs had closed down the hole and the MLB didn't get blocked because Koger had to take on an OLB before he could get to him. Minor buried at the line.|
|M32||3||4||Shotgun 3-wide||1||1||3||Nickel||Run||Zone read veer||Minor||14|
|Michigan catches Wisconsin here despite really tipping their run with Forcier well in front of Minor. UW is shifted away from the backside, which makes the DL an easy seal; Huyge(+1) gets a crushing block on the OLB as the DE runs too far upfield to contain the handoff that Forcier correctly makes (ZR +1); Minor shoots into the secondary without anyone coming close to him.|
|M46||1||10||Shotgun trips||1||1||3||?||Run||Edge pitch||Brown||0|
|Schofield again reads this instantly and gets out on the edge, killing the play. I don't know if Michigan was trying to do this but if they were that calculation backfired a little bit, eh? I'm not sure what, if anything, Michigan could have done on this play since BTN gets to it late.|
|M46||2||10||Shotgun 3-wide||1||1||3||Nickel||Run||Zone read stretch||Minor||2|
|Robinson at QB. Michigan seals the edge pretty well as the backside DE keeps contain and the playside DE spins inside, but Koger(-1) gets totally crushed by the OLB and Minor's forced inside for a minimal gain. Koger's blocking needs to improve.|
|M48||3||8||Shotgun trips bunch||1||1||3||Nickel||Pass||Rollout deep hitch||Mathews||17|
|Wisconsin anticipates this well, getting a guy on the edge and forcing Forcier upfield instead of letting him drift to the edge. Forcier finds Mathews open between about five guys and tosses it right as the LBs converge on him; the dart hits Mathews in the numbers for a first down. (DO, 3, protection 1/1)|
|O35||1||10||Shotgun trips||1||1||3||Nickel||Run||Zone read stretch||Minor||-4|
|Really terrible blocking from the OL, just awful. Wisconsin has like 5.5 guys in the box. This should be a win. Instead Moosman(-1) gets cut under badly and Ortmann(-1) gets smoked by the DE to the outside. One of these breakdowns you can deal with. Both and the RB gets smoked in the backfield.|
|Weird. The three guys at the bottom of the screen are blocking a WR screen for Roundtree. Brown's running a wheel that's covered at first and that's where Forcier is looking. Forcier doesn't have time to wait for the play to develop because Ortmann(-2) got beat to the inside and Schilling(-1) to the outside on a stunt Michigan did not anticipate or pick up, so again there are two guys in on Forcier at the same time and that always ends in doom. (PR, 0, protection 0/3)|
|Michigan running a protection slide that sees Smith(-1) end up one-on-one with a DE; he attempts to cut the guy and gets bowled over. Odd that he's in on third and twenty-four, isn't it? Forcier(+1) sees the guy come inside and starts scrambling; Smith, to his credit, starts to get up and sort of trips the DE as Forcier rolls. This gives Forcier the edge, where he points Roundtree somewhere and hits him at the sticks; Roundtree brings in a tough pass and stumbles over the line. Wow. (DO, 2, protection 2/3, Smith -1)|
|O23||1||10||Shotgun 2-back||2||0||3||Base 4-3||Run||Zone read stretch||Smith||2|
|Michigan trying to scoop the playside DT, who is lined up nearly over Moosman, and just about does it thanks to Omameh(+1) making a spectacular play to overtake a guy not particularly delayed by Moosman(-1). This has forced Smith outside a bit, unfortunately, where Schilling(-1) can't get a block on an OLB and he tears through to tackle Smith. He manages to cut up behind Schilling to fall forward for a couple.|
|O21||2||8||Shotgun 2-back||2||0||3||Nickel||Pass||RB wheel||Smith||21|
|OLB in the flat on Smith delays a bit for reasons unknown, opening up the wheel; Forcier hits it right in stride, and Smith(+1) jukes a safety, keeping his feet into the endzone. Kid is pretty good. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2)|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-7, 6 min 1st Q.|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||RB||TE||WR||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|O37||1||10||Shotgun trips||1||1||3||Nickel||Run||Zone read veer||Minor||3|
|Michigan should be able to kill on this as Wisconsin has only 5.5 in the box again. This time the DE stays home and Forcier should pull, but he gives it off and Minor runs right into said DE. (ZR -1)|
|O34||2||7||Shotgun 4-wide||1||1||3||Nickel||Pass||Flare screen||Smith||18|
|Dubbing this a screen because Roundtree is not running a route, he's blocking. Roundtree(+2), by the way, manages to get outside of a linebacker on this play, sealing him to the inside and giving Smith the edge. Great, great block. Smith has about eight yards until resistance, at which point Smith runs through a tackle, keeps his balance along the sideline, and zips for like ten bonus yards. (CA, 3, screen, RPS +1)|
|O16||1||10||Shotgun 2-back||2||0||3||Base 4-3||Run||Zone read inside||Smith||6|
|Looks like a stretch from the positioning of the tailbacks but the linemen head straight upfield and this is no stretch. Moosman(+1) blows the NT off the ball and two or three yards downfield and Omameh(+1) kicks out the other defensive tackle, giving Smith a big cutback lane. He makes that initial cut but his vision fails him as he should then cut it behind Koger to get himself past the linebacker level and possibly into the endzone. Instead he meets a linebacker who chucked Schilling to the ground.|
|O10||2||4||Shotgun 2-back||2||0||3||Base 4-3||Run||Zone read inside||Smith||3|
|Same exact play and it blocks the same way with Smith hitting it up between Moosman and Omameh. Smith should again cut it outside behind Roundtree's block but takes the sure yards; Moosman did not do quite as good a job on his guy this time and he comes free to tackle with help from the OLB.|
|O7||3||1||I-Form 3-wide||1||1||3||Base 4-3||Run||QB sneak||Forcier||2|
|Bush-pushed forward by Grady.|
|O6||1||G||Shotgun 2-back 2TE||2||2||1||Base 4-3||Run||Zone read stretch||Minor||3|
|Moosman(-1) and Omameh cannot seal the Wisconsin NT on the scoop and he, along with a crashing OLB, meet Minor just past the LOS as he cuts up; Minor manages to fall forward. On plays like this I'd really prefer it if the lead blocker was told to bash that DT and leave Minor one on one with a linebacker or whatever.|
|O3||2||G||Shotgun 2-back 2TE||2||2||1||Goal line||Run||Zone read stretch||Minor||2|
|Um... the hell? Michigan runs the play where they fake the RB handoff while the FB heads into the flat that everyone's got scouted by now, except this time they hand it off. The NT is totally unblocked but running upfield so fast that Minor can run by him. This leaves four blockers on three DL near the goal line; Moosman and Schilling get split by the playside DT, and Koger(-1) got smoked by the DE, so guys meet Minor at the LOS and fall forward. Good playcall submarined by poor execution. (RPS +1)|
|O1||3||G||Shotgun 3TE||2||2||1||Goal line||Run||QB stretch||Forcier||-2|
|Really obvious playcall in this situation that Wisconsin consumes alive by slanting into the play. They've moved the LBs playside and are clearly anticipating this. No one has a chance to block their guys here. (RPS -1)|
|Drive Notes: Blocked FG(21), 7-7, 1 min 1st Q.|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||RB||TE||WR||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|O25||1||10||Shotgun 3-wide||1||1||3||Nickel||Run||Zone read veer||Minor||3|
|Backside DE is standing up and just waiting for this call; Forcier gives it off and I'm not sure if that's a good idea or not since Schofield can probably deal with either option. No ZR. Michigan's shoving the Wisconsin DL down the line and Minor has a little room to hit behind Ortmann but Schofield closes him down after a couple yards. After the first big run Michigan got off this they've adjusted.|
|Missed play #4; as we come back Forcier is throwing an out that's behind Roundtree; Roundtree can't adjust to make the catch. Maybe had something for a first down here if accurate; since the throw is behind Roundtree a safety is going to tackle immediately for just three even if caught. (MA, 2, protection 1/1)|
|I think this pressure is mostly on Forcier, who drops way back and sits there despite both DEs tearing around the edge and into him; if he was more aware he could step up into the pocket, which is big and clean. DE blowing past Grady(-1) makes contact as Forcier belatedly realizes his error and begins to sack, at which point Forcier flips the ball to Smith, turning a major loss into a meh gain. What the hell to file this as... CA? TA? PR? Um. (CA, 3, protection 1/2, Grady -1, screen)|
|Drive Notes: FG(36), 10-7, 14 min 2nd Q.|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||RB||TE||WR||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|M23||1||10||Shotgun 2TE||1||2||2||Base 4-3||Run||Zone read inside||Brown||2|
|Webb(-1) doesn't block the DE, which okay, but also doesn't bother to block the WLB, instead heading outside as if he's expecting a stretch. It's not a stretch. Forcier correctly hands it off(ZR +1) as the DE is far enough outside that Brown can get by him, but that unblocked WLB is sort of there, causing problems.|
|M25||2||8||Shotgun 3-wide||1||1||3||Nickel||Run||QB stretch||Robinson||0|
|Robinson in and this isn't going to work against Wisconsin. Moosman(-1) releases to the second level immediately, giving Omameh no chance to block the NT lined up way playside of him, and Schilling(-1) just flat-out loses against the playside DT. No room for Robinson.|
|Forcier with a deep drop and Michigan max-protects; plenty of time for Forcier and he nails Hemingway on a hitch; good timing. (CA+, 3, protection 2/2) Smith again the tailback in a pass-pro situation. I know Minor's hurt but that's weird. Hemingway's route was excellent.|
|M36||1||10||Shotgun 2-back||2||0||3||Nickel||Run||Zone read stretch||Shaw||-1|
|Good blocking from the line this time as Wisconsin gets sealed; UW OLB is blitzing into the gap, though, and the lead blocker, Grady, totally whiffs on him, leaving him right in Shaw's path. I wonder if Wisconsin is slanting one way and having their linebacker shoot the other way all the time when they see the line slants. I think this is what Michigan was doing against Iowa, to far less excellent effect.|
|M35||2||11||Shotgun 2-back||2||0||3||Nickel||Pass||Flare screen||Smith||8|
|Wisconsin's line pretty good about recognizing this and getting back but Smith's too much of a jackrabbit to be caught; he steps through some waving arms. Good block from Roundtree(+1) kicks out the OLB; Huyge(+1) and Omameh(+1) both get good-enough open-field cuts on their guys. Smith's one-on-one with a linebacker with lots of green in front of him and totally jukes the guy, leaping past him... and the guy gets an arm out, grabbing Smith's foot and tripping him mid-air. Rats. (CA, 3, screen)|
|M43||3||3||Shotgun trips bunch||1||1||3||Nickel||Pass||Out||Roundtree||5|
|Ends up wide open as Michigan's formation just beats the Wisconsin coverage; part of that was UW blitzing a linebacker off the edge. Forcier finds Roundtree and flips a weird, high-arcing ball that seems like trouble, but it's accurate enough and there's no coverage so it works out. (CA, 3, protection NA, RPS +1)|
|M48||1||10||Shotgun 3-wide||1||1||3||Nickel||Run||Zone read inside||Smith||4|
|Eerily like what seemed like every Mike Hart run against Wisconsin in the Debord stretch era: totally unblocked mofo into the backfield, Smith jukes him out of his jock with a sweet spin, four yards out of nothing. Moosman(-1) and Omameh(-1) got split; the spin destroyed blocking angles and allowed linebackers to show up.|
|Deep drop and good protection; Mathews sails past a Wisconsin defensive back and Forcier chucks it. It's well outside; Mathews makes a great adjustment and reels it in but his front foot hits out of bounds microseconds before his back toe drags in bounds and it's ruled incomplete. Forcier had this if accurate, and Mathews did all he could. I want to give him credit for a 1 here, but can't. (IN, 1, protection 2/2)|
|Great protection but part of that is that Michigan is resorting to max-pro a lot and Forcier can't find anyone open since he's got three receivers against seven in coverage. He moves up in the pocket, then a linebacker starts running at him and he rolls out, where he gets sacked. He fumbles; Michigan falls on it. I don't mind the scramble and sack here; I'd rather take a chance at getting a first down here than have a throwaway that saves you eight yards on a Zoltan punt. Would like to see Smith slip out for a dumpoff, though. (TA, 0, protection 3/3)|
|Drive Notes: Punt, 10-14, 4 min 2nd Q. Next drive happens with one minute left. They do try to score, so I'll chart it.|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||RB||TE||WR||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|Simple and something that Wisconsin does a good job of defending considering the situation; Mathews(+1) does a good job to get out of bounds. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)|
|M26||2||4||Shotgun empty||1||1||3||Nickel||Pass||Short bubble||Roundtree||4|
|Big umbrella zone here so Michigan has an opportunity to take a screen for the first time today. They do so; Roundtree manages to pick up the first. (CA, 3, screen)|
|Hitches again; they're covered; what's with the short stuff? I don't know. Forcier takes off and makes what he can out of the play. Not charted. Protection 1/1.|
|Very tight spot here for both WR and QB; Roundtree does a good job of running to the open spot and Forcier hits him just as he gets there. These two are developing serious move-the-chains chemistry. (CA+, 2, protection 1/1)|
|Smith(-1) whiffs a cut block and his guy gets in on Forcier; Forcier does the flip thing to Smith again, with results not very thrilling since a linebacker is racing to cover Forcier and can adjust his flight path. (TA, 3, protection 1/2, Smith -1) Eventful play for Smith.|
|M43||2||9||Shotgun 3-wide||1||1||3||Nickel||Pass||Rollout throwaway||--||Inc|
|Rollout gets Forcier some time until a guy Dorrestein(-1) inexplicably let around him without bothering to block heads out and forces Forcier to chuck it. (TA, 0, protection 1/2, Dorrestein -1)|
|M43||3||9||Shotgun 3-wide||1||1||3||Nickel||Pass||Flare screen||Smith||2|
|Damn, O'Brien Schofield is good. This should just work given the situation but the dude recognizes the play and manages to track down jackrabbit Vincent Smith from behind just as he bursts upfield to pick up first down yardage and maybe more. (CA, 3, screen)|
|M45||4||7||Shotgun 3-wide||1||1||3||Nickel||Pass||Hail Mary||--||Inc|
|Whatever. Robinson does throw this, and it is sad that Ortmann(-2) lets him get hit as he throws it. Not charted.|
|Drive Notes: EOH, 17-21.|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||RB||TE||WR||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|M40||1||10||Shotgun trips TE||1||1||3||Nickel||Pass||PA short seam||Mathews||25|
|Zone read dive fake; Roundtree runs a bubble and Mathews heads upfield into the open space the bubble reaction creates. Forcier nails him. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)|
|O35||1||10||Shotgun 4-wide||1||1||3||Nickel||Pass||Flare screen||Smith||-1|
|Should be open but Roundtree(-1) fails to cut the LB lined up over him and Forcier's pass is a little behind Smith, forcing him to spin around and delay. Not much, because Vincent Smith pirouettes like a mofo. The Roundtree block was the real issue. (MA, 3, screen)|
|O36||2||11||Shotgun trips||1||1||3||Nickel||Run||Zone read stretch||Smith||1|
|Dorrestein(-2) gets smoked inside and Smith has to cut back past Schofield, who is just a killer DE. He manages to cut back but Ortmann(-1) has also lost his backside DE—they blocked him, sort of—and Smith gets run down from the other side. Still... Smith does a lot with what he's given.|
|O35||3||10||Shotgun trips||1||1||3||Base 4-3||Run||Jailbreak screen||Roundtree||1|
|Excellent play call catches Wisconsin blitzing both MLBs and should work if Michigan can just get the last LB blocked. Schilling(-1) doesn't even whiff, he just runs in totally the wrong direction as Moosman(-1) got caught up blocking guys on the line for no reason. (CA, 3, screen, RPS +1)|
|O34||4||9||Shotgun 2-back||2||0||3||Base 4-3||Pass||Skinny post||Hemingway||14|
|Max protect and the line keeps Forcier totally clean. Excellent job. Forcier waits for Hemingway to clear the first level and then zings a pass in a seriously tight window that Hemingway leaps and hauls in in traffic. Henne-like throw, Avant-like catch. Coverage was very good and forced Michigan to make an excellent play to convert. (DO, 2, protection 2/2)|
|No stretch blocking here: Michigan blocks down and this works as the linemen's instinct is to flow; this leaves Smith and Grady with a good hole and one LB; Grady does okay on his block. Unfortunately, UW is run-blitzing a safety who shows in the hole right after and is there to pop Smith. Smith gets under him and manages to fall forward.|
|O16||2||6||Shotgun 3-wide||1||1||3||Base 4-3||Run||Zone read inside||Smith||6|
|Non-Schofield DE slants inside of Ortmann but Ortmann(+1) goes with him and walls him off; good block. This opens up the edge a bit; Smith starts to go outside and draws that safety out there, then cuts up behind Koger's block on the LB. Koger's guy reads it and manages to hop inside to make a tough low tackle; Smith runs through it and picks up the first down. I really, really like this kid.|
|O10||1||G||Shotgun 2-back||2||0||3||Base 4-3||Pass||Bubble screen||Roundtree||10|
|Excellent read or playcall by whoever: all game UW has had a guy on the slot to prevent the bubble; now they roll the OLB inside and Michigan immediately hits them. Also note the adjustment on the blocking here: outside WR blocks down on the crashing safety, springing Roundtree for an easy touchdown. (CA, 3, screen, RPS +1)|
|Drive Notes: Touchdown, 24-28, 7 min 3rd Q.|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||RB||TE||WR||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
|Excellent protection and Michigan goes deep. Mathews is inside the guy in coverage, but has no separation; Forcier throws it well long instead of at least giving Mathews a shot at a jump ball. (IN, 0, protection 2/2)|
|M15||2||10||Shotgun trips TE||1||1||3||Nickel||Pass||Scramble||Forcier||1|
|Michigan goes with the PA bubble fake to a seam that Mathews picked up a bunch on earlier; Forcier doesn't throw it. It looks like it's open underneath but maybe a safety is jumping it or something. Forcier scrambles out and picks up a couple yards. Schilling lost his guy, robbing Forcier of the time needed. (TA, 0, protection 1/2, Schilling -1)|
|M16||3||9||Shotgun 3-wide||1||1||3||Nickel||Pass||Scramble||Forcier||13 (Pen -8)|
|Smith(-1) chops he knees out from under a guy engaged with Dorrestein; call is totally legit. Omameh(-1) fails to pick up a stunt and lets a guy in on Forcier; Forcier jukes the guy and starts running around, picking up good downfield blocks from Omameh and Schilling en route to the first down. Penalty brings it back. (PR, 0, protection 0/2, Smith -1, Omameh -1)|
|Excellent protection and Wisconsin is letting guys deep, I guess, so Stonum has a step and some room to the sideline here, but Forcier waits a bit too long or doesn't have the arm strength to get there, or both, and his ball is short and to the inside. Still think Stonum could do a better job adjusting here but this is not a good throw, and it gets picked off. It's a 52 yard punt, though, so not exactly a disaster. (IN, 1, protection 2/2)|
|Drive Notes: Interception, 24-35, 1 min 3rd Q.|
|Ln||Dn||Ds||O Form||RB||TE||WR||D Form||Type||Play||Player||Yards|
Bad combo of coverage and receiver here: ball has to be thrown high because of the good coverage and Forcier ends up overthrowing Smith when virtually anyone else on the team might have had a shot. I have to file this the way I do, though. (IN, 1, protection 1/1)
|M26||2||10||Ace 3-wide||1||1||3||Base 4-3||Run||Zone stretch||Smith||2|
Impossible to tell anything with this wide shot.
Forcier's first read is covered and he bugs out upfield into linebackers. (TA, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 24-42, 9 min 4th Q. No more charts.
Ah, let's just get to it. Charts?
[Hennechart legend; MA is "marginal", screen results are in parens.]
|Notre Dame||5||20 (6)||2||4||3||3||-||4|
|Eastern Michigan||1||8 (2)||1||1 (1)||1||4 (1)||-||-|
|Indiana||3||13 (3)||1 (1)||2||5||3||-||2|
|Michigan State||5||19 (3)||2||4||3||3||-||5|
|Delaware State||-||2 (1)||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Penn State||3||9 (3)||-||4 (2)||4||2||1||1|
|Purdue||2||13 (6)||1||2||1||4||1 (1)||5|
The zone read metric was 2 – 1 = 1.
|Eastern Michigan||-||1||1 (1)||2 (1)||-||-||-||-|
Robinson did not throw. As far as Forcier goes: he had a good day against one of the better overall defenses in the big ten. His downfield success rate is 11 / 19 = 58%, which is better than okay and maybe a tiny bit worse than good, but if you drill a little further into the numbers there were no bad reads and four TAs, a couple of which were effective scrambles or flips to tailbacks as he was getting sacked. The huge, mind-destroying errors that plagued him against Ohio State did not exist against Wisconsin.
Most of Forcier's inaccurate throws were long: he drew Mathews out of bounds on a late bomb that Mathews almost caught. He wildly overthrew a covered Mathews on another. And the last was a ball to Stonum that was short and to the inside when Stonum had a step and plenty of room to the outside. It seems like he's not recognizing his coverages fast enough and getting the ball out to his deep receivers in time for his arm strength to get it there. There were a couple of similar instances against Ohio State, where a throw against cover-two was late enough for OSU to get a safety over for a pass breakup or interception. The lack of accuracy can be interpreted as another form of a BR where he makes the right read but too late and ends up leaving a ball short.
Another indicator of how well Forcier played in this game: there is but one ball filed uncatchable.
About the receivers themselves: an excellent day with only one ball filed less than "circus" not brought in. Vincent Smith had one game as the quasi-starter and was targeted more than any other player. Though two of those were accidental targets as Forcier looked to avoid a sack, it's clear that we can expect Smith to be considerably more involved in the passing game than any of the backs were this year except maybe Brown, and in this one game Smith ended up with eight attempts to get him the ball to Brown's season-long total of 13.
The tight ends are falling off after a strong start because they're dropping a lot of easy balls. Grady and the tight ends have 9 of Michigan's 12 routine drops between them and with Roundtree's emergence into a totally reliable option in the same general area of the field their usage has dropped considerably.
The one complaint I have about the receivers is the same old one about Stonum: on the deep bomb that was intercepted, he failed to make a play on the ball, got undercut, and allowed an interception that should have been an incompletion at worst. It would have been a difficult catch but that seemed like another example of Stonum not adjusting well to balls thrown deep downfield.
PROTECTION METRIC: 31/41, Ortmann –2, Schilling –2, Smith –3, Grady –1, Dorrestein –1, Omameh –1.
Probably the line's best day in a while given the level of competition they were going up against. 76% isn't great but four of the minuses go to tailbacks, three of them to tiny freshman Vincent Smith. The line did a pretty good job holding Schofield and company out of the backfield and the results were considerably improved passing from Forcier. Forcier still has to get used to the idea that the line will do this for him; there were a couple of instances where he had a big pocket to step into but did not.
And our RPS: 5 – 1 = +4. Good day strategically—
Then why couldn't we run?
The flipside of the better than usual pass blocking was Michigan getting owned in the run game by the Wisconsin line. That stretch gap that opens up between the playside tackle and center was never there as one of the best rushing defenses in the country refused to let themselves get sealed. Michigan was running a lot of inside zone, too, so what happened a lot was Moosman not getting enough of a delay on a DT and one of the guards futilely attempting to seal a guy who was slanting directly into the play; Michigan didn't have an effective counter to that with Minor's rage severely limited.
Talent, experience, and injury: though Michigan's ground game took a step forward this year it was clear that when it came up against truly excellent run defenses there was something lacking. That's probably talent since Minor was largely absent against Ohio State and Wisconsin and Molk missed the portion of the season in which the run game alternated between okay and poor.
Yeah, pretty much. The last time I broke out the Vincent Smith praise a commenter said he's not Mike Hart, but he might kind of be Mike Hart:
How many times did Hart do exactly that against Wisconsin to turn a three yard loss into a moderate gain? It seems like a thousand times. He will not grind piles forward like Hart did but I don't recall Hart having this sort of instant acceleration:
I will not be dissuaded on this: Smith performed pretty well in his first two quasi-starts against Wisconsin and Ohio State, scoring receiving touchdowns in each game and grinding out respectable YPC numbers against two of the country's best rushing defenses. He is probably going to start next year and he is going to be good.
Tangent: I think the threat of Smith on these screens and wheels may have had some impact on the line's ability to pass block. When there's a guy out there who can punish you for getting too far upfield, you adjust so that you are not useless when they screen it out.
Roundtree, Smith, and Forcier.
There were a lot of minuses in the interior line on run plays, and not a lot of positives.
What does it mean for 2010?
It's an encouraging day for Forcier, an indication that Roundtree has a death grip on one starting slot job and an invitation for the tight ends to step it up lest they be displaced by a Roundtree/Odoms pairing, and maybe a sobering look at the maximum talent level of the line. Omameh did play okay, showing outstanding mobility on a couple plays, but it seems clear that Schilling is not going to live up to the five-star hype and will top out at "decent"; the prospect of starting Dorrestein next year isn't horrifying or anything, but he also seems like a low ceiling sort.
- Brandon Minor is still nicked up, but he'll go if he can. Carlos's knee is still bothering him a little bit. Vincent Smith played well, Shaw "did some good things." Backups will be ready if the starters can't go.
- "Legends are made in the Michigan-Ohio State game." Good feel for the rivalry. Doesn't take long to understand it. Don't have to coach or play here to get the intensity of it. What will it take to turn the rivalry around? Having a better team than the opponent. Emotion and passion will carry the team a little bit. The more experienced team (OSU) will be able to stem a tide of emotion. Use the big rivalry factor to help guys focus on preparation during the game. Win over OSU means something special especially for the seniors. Team has overcome a little adversity, that would be important for them. Try to accentuate the positives this week. It's an easy game to get them excited for. Our guys know it's a big challenge. You always have a chance. We have to play really well. Maybe they'll make a few mistakes.
- Hasn't heard from past Michigan coaches about the rivalry. He doesn't need to be lectured on the importance of the rivalry. He gets it. Just because he's not from Michigan doesn't mean he doesn't get it. Everyone gets it. He coaches as hard as he can in every game. Ohio State is just a whole lot more important. College football has the most intense rivalries, none more important than M-OSU. '69 team was one of the best M-OSU games. They'll be honorary captains for the game.
- A couple things different: Senior week. Practice won't be much different. There will be more in team meetings about the importance of the game, etc. Permanent team captains will be voted on this week.
- Senior class. All programs have something special for last home game. Best week of seniors' careers. Devoted 4-5 years to the university & team. Small group of seniors.
- We can play a whole lot better offensively. Defensively, we haven't been playing well. It's not a lack of effort, there are a lot of reasons. Solid on special teams. Have to make a lot of improvement on defense. Hopefully they rise to the challenge in the last game.
- Made D changes, guys played pretty well. Looking for the right combination. Defense maybe moved slower than he thought it might. Last year's team had more experience defensively. Knew we were going to be inexperienced. They might make personnel moves from offense to defense in the offseason. In next couple recruiting classes, add talent on defense.
- All coaches hate to lose. It eats at your soul. "I don't coach football, I live it." He loves what we're doing, so it eats at you to be unsuccessful. He's not used to losing, so it pretty much sucks. Each day is a new opportunity. This year or last year was the most emotionally taxing in his career. We've all fought through this thing together, and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. When the young guys lift weights, practice, etc., you can see that we're going to be back there. He likes winning too much to not evaluate everything the team does. If adjustments need to be made, they'll do it. Some of the problems are going to take longer to fix. "I feel very good about our staff." Good coaches, family men, recruiters. Scheme and stuff will be where the changes come. Personnel-wise it's tough to overcome. The players know how competitive the coaches are. As long as they're giving their best effort, that's all the coach can ask. This is a good group to coach.
- Not getting back as quickly as he'd like. Only had 1 full recruiting class. When those 18-19 year olds are 20-21, they'll look more like men. There's a group of 4-5 college head coaches he keeps in touch with for encouragement, etc.. Also the assistant coaches he's been with for a long time. Sometimes things come up that aren't in coaching 101.
- On offense, they feel a lot better than last year. Players have a better grasp of the offense. OSU will still be a huge challenge. Not showing up to hope it stays close, they want to win.
- Comparing leagues to leagues is misinformed, there's no reason that a different style of football can't be played in the Big Ten. Every league has a variety of styles, etc. Coaching the pro-style to fit the talent. Our guys that started on offense last year hadn't played in any system yet. No mattter what system you ran, they hadn't played in it. Same with defense this year. Need to recruit guys who can play at the highest level, but experience is a big player too.
- Tate - hopefully learned that you have to compete every week, continue to get better, different schmes and challenges every week. He and Denard are both very good for true freshmen. They'll get better when they have more practice time. Hopes everyone (not just tate) is committed to getting the seniors to a bowl game.
- Koger played some last year. He's played well sometimes, other games he hasn't taken the next step. He'll get better.
- Graham - doing all he can. He knows he's surrounded by inexperience. Still being a team guy and playing within the framework of the defense. Trying to free him up and use his ability.
- Kovacs is a tough guy. It's just his first year playing, so he'll keep getting better. Lack of depth gave him an opportunity.
- Boren: Doesn't do much good to go back in the past. "We pride ourselves on the closeness we have as a family." If you ask the players, they feel the closeness. Hasn't talked to Boren since he left.
- Pryor. He's done extremely well. Started games as a true freshman. Very talented. Won a lot of games. Don't really like to play him because he's a talented playmaker. Nobody on scout team can replicate him (obvs). Denard will play him a bit on scout team.
Ryan Van Bergen
- Scoring the touchdown against Wisconsin was pretty cool. He thought his days of scoring touchdowns were over after high school.
- It would mean everything to this team to beat Ohio State. Bitter taste after last year's game is still there. Want to beat OSU and get the 6th win for the seniors. Looking to stop the streak of 4-5 consecutive OSU losses. There's an external sense that Michigan doesn't stand a chance. A lot of people around the rivalry know that records mean nothing on the field.Practices will stay the same, but in the group preparation "you always do a little extra for Ohio State." Film room, etc.
- Defense is getting close, but they're still making fundamental and technical errors. They're getting better and better, but that's still not good enough. Can't lean on the offense. Mistakes this year aren't sustained drives or anything. It doesn't look better on the scoreboard, but if they can stop 4-5 plays of 60+ yards and TD, it will look a whole lot different. Guys aren't wearing out. Other teams have similar size and frequency of defensive rotation. Got away from scheming other teams, need to execute physically.
- Michigan Ohio State game has an intensity level that can't be matched in other games. It's like you're on the front line of a battle. We enjoy it, and it's great to get after it with passion.
- Never grew up an Ohio State fan. Always got chills watching the big game. "I'm a Michigan man, that's all I'm worried about right now." Roundtree born in Pahokee, big Miami fan. Miami-OSU game in '02. McGahee, etc. "Just can't go for Ohio State, don't know what it is."
- Desmond Howard, Charles Woodson. Great memories.
- Preparation started saturday after Wisconsin. Practice is going to have to pay off this week. Veterans say to go all out. You never know when it's your last play, especially against Ohio State. Have to go harder this week. Put in the hard work all season. Learn from mistakes, prepare for Saturday. Everybody's ready.
- Rodriguez toughest season. Just his second year, how the season is turning out. Roundtree and Hemingway sat together last year watching the game. "This year should be a turnaround."
- Won't have his phone on this week because he needs to stay focused.
- Big 2 weeks: It just happens. Shows the work he put in everywhere. Doesn't worry about how many balls he catches, etc., just worried about running his route. You can't back down in blocking.
- The QBs have to work with each other to improve. Tate has to do more to show what he can do.
- Same feeling against OSU every year (always do everything you can), but each year is different with his role increasing. "It'll be my last game in the Big House, I wanna go out with a win." This week, anything that's wrong has to be corrected Everyone has to be in watching film, everyone has to go hard in practice. Stevie and seniors lead by example. Getting to a bowl and beating Ohio State are linked together, so neither goal is bigger than the other, they're the same.
- Boren - did everything he could while he was here, he'll be the same for them. No personal vendetta, just another O-lineman.
- Pryor throwing it better this year. When the play breaks down, he's able to do things with his feet. Big guy, need to get a secure tackle on him.
- Stevie doesn't try to think about "if we lose, it's over" type stuff. Worries about preparing to win the last game. Doesn't look at beating them in terms of breaking the OSU streak, just want to beat them.
- Whenever we play very well, play together, we can shut teams down. We've shown flashes, just need to come together for 60 minutes.
- Graham provides a lot of vocal encouragement. Leads by example as well. Works as hard as he can, makes plays he's supposed to make. The team doesn't want to let Brandon down. Stevie's not vocal. You can come ask him questions, but he tries to lead by example.
- Hasn't looked at Ohio State film yet. Heard Herbstreit say that this is one of Tressel's best defenses.
- UT-A&M rivalry is the main one where Ortmann's from. The M rivalry is something he knew about, but didn't get to experience it that much.
- The preparation week for OSU his freshman year, their helmets were taped up like OSU, you can sense a different atmosphere .
- Loss= the end has been playing in everyone's mind. We've broken a lot of records and set some new ones the past couple years. Beating OSU would be a great spot to start a new record.
- It's been a while since we've beaten them. Go in with mindset that we are capable of winning. The tackling dummies with the block o are just a reminder that OSU is the biggest game every year.
- Boren - nobody has a relationship with him anymore really. Ortmann has talked to him just a couple times. They had a good relationship before. It was hard to hear him say what he did when he left. He was raised to be a Michigan fan and he loved Michigan. Had some underlying personal issues. What he said on the way out was unfair. People with their own individual reasons. Some statements have been inaccurate. They're entitled to their own opinions.
- Big difference between the OSU games and all the rest. "Growing up, you know that this is one of the biggest rivalries in college football." Big for both programs. Definitely have more intensity this week, get the guys riled up. Help the young guys understand how important this game is.
- Limit big plays. Make them earn everything that they get. Have to come out in practice, get some confidence rolling through the week. Believe in the gameplan, minimize what the opponent will do.
- At safety last couple weeks - do what the coaches ask, and what's best for team. Trying to help the team win. That was for Wisconsin, doesn't know if it will be this week as well.
- Discipline against Pryor. Tougher to stick to receivers because he might need help. Tougher to stick to receivers for longer. Posey - made some big plays with Pryor. Try to minimize that, make them earn it. Sanzenbacher started year as Pryor's go-to guy. Duron Carter is good too. Contain all three of those and the RBs.
- Little things add up and lead to opponents' big plays. Can't let that continue to occur. Have to just keep working on it. Don't let it disrupt your confidence. Confidence - if you can limit big plays, the defense has actually been solid. Hear outsiders talk about how bad the defense is. Can't let it get to you. Continue to work and get better. Do the little things.
- Is it disrespectful for Boren to go to the hated rival. "We're here and he's talking that the family values have eroded. Definitely, the family is still intact." He had to do what was best for him.
- Losing rivalry games is tough. Have to look on the bright side. Don't have anything to lose. Win this one, go to a bowl game. Something to look forward to winning this game. What's in the past is in the past, worry about what you can do in this game.
- Seen some great defenses this year - PSU, Iowa. OU has some solid guys, nobody stands out above everyone else they've seen this year.
- "I don't talk to him, I don't think about him. He doesn't come up in my daily life. I don't have to play against him on defense. I wish I could." Boren
- Tate and Denard don't need to be told things, they need to learn through intensity and preparation of teammates.
- This game is huge, last regular season game, last game of the year. It's everything. Unfinished business against OSU - haven't beaten them in 5 years. This is what we have, we're going practice hard. The context can only mean so much. Don't need a "little brother" mentality. It's Ohio State. Records mean nothing, etc. Don't need more analogies.Just prepare every day. This falls under every category - last game, bowl eligibility, OSU, etc.
- Hopefully we can get a big win, and the reality of never playing in M stadium again will kick in after the celebration.
- Scout team players go extra hard this week. Some guys that normally wouldn't be on scout team go down because they want to practice against the best.
- Omameh - nothing needs to be said to him. They'll watch film together. He'll show him what he needs to do to win. All we can ask is for him to play his heart out - and he will. As an OL, we are looking at their film to see how to attack their defense. I think we can do that.
- 70-80% underclassmen. Always great to see the young guys (tate) take leadership roles.
- Watched Purdue-OSU film. It's going to take our best effort to beat them. Purdue put together a great gameplan, and we've got one this week.
- When the offense goes in, no matter the game situation, they go in to score. The defense goes in to stop them. Our job is to score and win. We want to score more than the other team. Minor's gonna play. He'll play hard and run hard. This is his last game. Concerned about his health, but he'll do what he can. "He's gonna do great, he always does."
- Block-O tackling dummies are going to be in view all week. They have been all year. Lots of motivation to beat Ohio State. "If you can't get jacked up for this one, I don't know where you've been." If he doesn't beat Ohio State, it just wasn't meant to be. "We will beat them... sooner or later. Hopefully it's this Saturday."
- Defense wants to have their best game of the year. Even if old goals weren't achieved you have to set new goals. Time to play their best. They haven't had many games where they could say they played their best and got beat. Showed effort in the last game, but Wisconsin came out with a plan to exploit their weaknesses.
- BG trying to take it in now, since he's got one last game if they don't win. Kinda sad that his college career is done. Dreamt of this moment, now it's almost gone. Realized when he was watching Lamarr Woodley with the Steelers yesterday. Woodley told him to enjoy it, because it's over in a beat. Now he's telling the new young guys the same thing.
- He doesn't want to think about his kids now, but when he eventually has them, he'll tell them he got to play in the greatest game in the country. When his kids go here, it will always be something special when they play Ohio State. Couldn't send his kids to Ohio State "I'm not Justin Boren." He's got a lot of words for Boren. "Just somebody who shouldn't have been here in the first place... We'll see him Saturday." Our front four can get the job done. Boren's got to prove he's still got it. He was good here, but isn't as good there because it's O-State. Family values thing was just an excuse for Boren because he wanted to leave. Never gave the new coaches a chance. "Some people just leave because they feel like they're better than what they is. Not trying to put that much work into it.... a lot of people get lazy and feel like it's supposed to come to them."
- BG has noticed at times that he's a really good player on a bad defense. He doesn't worry about it, and just tries to get to the ball. He wants everyone else to play with the same attitude, they don't all grow as fast as others. Go hard every day. Whoever's in his way, he'll tell them to not come his way. He's in the best shape of his life, and he'll wear the opponent down.
- "It's about to be his last, next year" for Donovan Warren. Does he know Warren plans to stay or is he just saying that?
- Graham grew as a person and was humbled this year - can't take anything for granted. Feels like he could work harder or something to achieve success. My personal goals went OK, but it's about the team. I was happy to be able to help change the game and help my team. Stuff happens for a reason.
- Seniors want to leave with a win "What's a better way than to beat O-State?"
- Injuries: Brandon Minor's ankle injury is ongoing, and now he has a bruised shoulder as well. Junior Hemingway has a back bruise and was limited against Purdue. Martavious Odoms is still day-to-day, he hasn't progressed that well. Perry Dorrestein is getting better. Carlos was limited against Purdue because he missed the week of practice with tendinitis.
- Personnel notes: Brandon Minor gives the team a completely different dimension because he is able to break tackles and run downhill. Without him, the offense isn't as good. Patrick Omameh played pretty well, especially for his first start. He has some technical things to improve, but he played hard and was physical. Tate had a few missed reads and bad decisions, but didn't play poorly. JB Fitzgerald graded out OK. Rich doesn't know who will start on defense this week,because nobody on the defense graded out at a championship level. Olesnavage should be fine mentally - it was his first extra point miss of the year. Brandon Smith is moving around trying to find a position. He's at safety now, though his future might be at linebacker. The coaches wanted to get Denard in the game more, but didn't want to disrupt Tate's rhythm.
- The defense plays well in practice, but seems to be clueless in games. For players to think that is "disheartening" for Rodriguez. He thinks the lay well, but for a few big mistakes. On both big pass plays (excluding the one to the RB, I assume), the player in man coverage just let his eyes get off his man for a second.
- The offense didn't seem to be that different from first to second half. Purdue made a couple adjustments, and there were some execution errors, but other than that it wasn't bad. The second half collapses of late have been a result of just needing to play better. There isn't a lot of time at halftime to attribute the difference to "halftime adjustments." The team needs to mature mentally and show resiliency. They should be mentally mature enough at this point in the season. Rich was more disappointed with the resiliency against Illinios than he was this week.
- Purdue's onside kick was a very good call and executed to perfection. Michigan needs to be more prepared for that.
- The decision to go for it on fourth down was never reconsidered. It wasn't an issue of whether the coaches thought they could score again if they kicked the field goal, but a matter of stopping Purdue to get the ball back.
- Against Wisconsin, the team needs to just play. Don't worry about outside factors (though bowl eligibility may be motivation), or the surroundings just play football. They're a big physical team, and Clay will definitely be the biggest back that the defense has seen all year.
- There are only 70 or 71 recruited scholarship players on the roster this year. It will take 2-3 recruiting classes to get the numbers up, and have the ability to let younger guys wait their turn. Players like Justin Turner and Thomas Gordon will be good players in the future.
- Boise State never approached Michigan about playing each other in 2010. Rodriguez thinks the schedule is probably set for the next couple years, but Boise is a possibility 4-5 years down the road.
- His decomitment from Purdue gave the Boilermaker players a lot to talk about all day. They were constantly talking to him, but he's not a talker, and didn't respond. Torri Williams was his recruiting host for Purdue, and Roundtree broke Williams's tackle on his touchdown reception.
- Martavious Odoms is a helpful teammate to Roundtree. They get to go against each other as competition in practice, but that doesn't mean Odoms won't give Roy tips on how to improve his game.
- Roundtree's strength and conditioning has come a long way since he first arrived. He was a laughingstock when he first arrived, but now his teammates appreciate how far he's come.
- Tate is just a freshman, so ups and downs are to be expected. He's currently on a bit of a down cycle, but will be ready for Wisconsin.
- Feels pretty healthy. His shoulder should be fine. The knee injury was just a slight twist, he'll wear a sleeve but no brace over it for the rest of the season. He expected to get a little banged up during the season, especially because his body isn't fully developed yet.
- Past games are in the past, and the team can't worry about them anymore. They need to focus on the future, and beat Wisconsin to get the seniors to a bowl game. Lots of the seniors are from Jason's class, so Tate knows them.
- The second half letdowns have been partially because the team comes out flat. There's no real explanation for it, but it's visible on film. They are pumped at the start of the game, but the leaders need to remind everyone to do the same for the second half.
- The defense is playing well, except for a couple critical mistakes. The offense hasn't helped at times, putting them in bad situations with turnovers. Having a new defensive coordinator makes it hard for them to achieve consistency.
- Tate feels he's been making too many freshman mistakes. He can't do that and expect the team to still win. The game has finally started slowing down for him (he noticed it against Illinois). He just needs to not make mistakes and get the ball to his athletes.
- The second half struggles shouldn't be an indication that the defense isn't good. Sometimes people are just pressing too hard to make things happen. He's not sure if the deficiencies are mental or physical. Sometimes, when the opposing offense has success, it feels like the defense didn't prepare well, even though Troy knows that's not the case. they just need to focus and get it done.
- Greg Robinson is a calm coach, and he's been successful in a bunch of places. Troy feels like last year's defense was bad because the schemes simply weren't working. This year, it's a good defense with too many execution errors at times.
- With a young defense, Obi Ezeh and Donovan Warren are the players who will get on guys when they make a mistake. Warren is a very passionate player, though it usually isn't displayed like it was on Saturday unless things are going very well or very poorly.
- Going to a bowl would be an accomplishment for this team. If they don't go to a bowl, they can't be too disappointed with their progress, because they've still improved the record from last year. Goal #1 is to beat Ohio State, and they want to beat Wisconsin as well. Troy can't wait to get into the atmosphere of Camp Randall and play.